Irelia Build Guide by Stakhanov
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Welcome to my Irelia guide. I started playing her when leveling my account, and kept loving her play style afterwards. She's a very unique champion with a huge potential in the right hands. In this guide i'll give you my view on her, and hopefully make you want to try her out.
Please note that English isn't my native language, feel free to report any typo / grammar mistake. Feedback is always appreciated, so please rate and comment !
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
+ Very sustained in lane
+ Extremely strong late game
+ Can take out squishy targets easily
+ Very mobile in clashes
- Rather weak early on
- Not so easy to master
Offense : I only take 9 points here because like some other solo top champions, Irelia isn't meant to go straight AD. These points give us some more damage and Armor penetration but there's no need to go deep in this tree ; hiten style already give a nice boost to our damage output.
- Hardiness / Resistance : extra armor / magic resistance never fails.
- Durability + Veteran scars : awesome for any offtank.
- Enlightenment : Debatable choice, I personally like to get this over Initiator.
- Honor guard / Juggernaut : Because we don't want to explode or get CC'ed to death as soon as we enter the fight.
- greater quintessence of vigor : adds 8.1 hp / 5 sec from level 1, for even more sustain.
- greater mark of desolation: Armor penetration marks, standard choice.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Flat MR great to resist early burst skills.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Flat armor seals help a lot vs auto attackers.
Other viable options :
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed For easy lanes, this will allow you to chase endlessly
Greater Quintessence of Health If you prefer flat hp over hp regen, +78 at level 1 makes you really tough
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist grants you 11 more MR than flat MR glyphs at level 18, good if you know casters won't bother you before level 10.
Ghost: For easy catch-ups / runaways. Your passive makes you really hard to immobilize for a long time, so ghost will help you more than flash.
Ignite: Allows you to shut down your lane opponent in early clashes, later on it will allow you to finish off runners with ease.
Teleport: If for some reason you need strong map control or quick fountain trips, you can swap ignite for this. Be aware that this will most likely prevent you from killing your lane opponent without the help of your jungler.
Ability explanation and skill sequence
- Ionian fervor: Very strong passive. The more they are trying to catch you, the easier you escape.
- Bladesurge (Q): Basically a damage-dealing dash, applying on-hit effects. Very useful to last-hit under tower, quickly close a gap, or flee if you over-extended behind enemy minions. Try to use it only if you couldn't get the last-hit with an auto-attack, since it will drain your mana even with the refund.
- Hiten style (W): The passive form of this kill makes you impossible to out-lane. Every single hit heals your for a decent amount of health. The active form will increase your damage out-put by a lot. Try to place yourself in the escape path of your lane opponent before activating and get a few auto-attacks on him.
- Equilibrium strike (E): Short cool-down stun/slow, making it very dangerous to tower-dive you at lower levels.
- Transcendent blades (R): Your ult, on a ridiculous cool-down. Activate it first then press R again to throw a blade to your cursor's location. It allows you to quickly clear large creep waves and deal some nice damage to fleeing targets. Note that this skill heals you for a portion of the damage it deals, don't hesitate to use it aiming backwards if you're being chased
The main idea behind this is to maximize your sustain in the early stages of the game. Maxing E would only increase the stun duration by 1 sec, it is a viable option in some cases, but most of the time you'll prefer the high damage you get from Q.
: Some nice MR and Tenacity, for shorter disables.
: Great AS, MR, and some on-hit magic damage, increasing your damage output. Very nice item.
: Any tanky champion's best friend.
: Even more HP to help you duel their carries. Adds even more damage with Atma's.
: The health synergies well with Atma's, and the perma-slow effect will prevent your foes from running away while you're bashing them down.
- : Since you're most likely going to draw attention on yourself, this will boost up your tankyness and eventually give you a second chance to fight back if you get killed.
This was for the "main" and final build, now let's have a look at the actual sequence.
I usually start off with Cloth Armor and Health Potion x5 ; It's a rather solid start that will allow you to resist harassment pretty well.
Boots of Speed if your lane opponent is rather weak (i.e, Nasus) it will allow you to harass him a lot and you will most likely out-run him. Don't forget to bring 3 pots with you.
Doran's Shield I personally rarely start with this but if you prefer mixing up hp, armor and regen ; or simply feel comfortable with it, then there's no reason not to get it.
First items :
If everything is going well, grab a quick Phage, then grab Mercury's Treads, and farm up your Wit's End. This is a pretty common item-build that grants you everything you need : HP, MR, AS, some damage and a slow.
If you're facing a tough opponent (i.e, Yorick), you may want to grab a Wriggle's Lantern. The stats it gives will allow you to stay even longer in lane, and the free ward almost equals the income you get from a philosopher's stone or a Heart of Gold.
Furthermore, it also helps taking down dragon / neutral camps / pushing in general.
- You can place one ward every 3 min, that makes 75 gold per 3 min.
- Philosopher's stone gives 5 gold per 10 seconds
- 3 min = 180 sec which makes 18 * 5 = 90 gold per 3 min.
Mid/late game :
Try and get your hands on Atma's Impaler. The added damage, armor and critical strike are worth delaying your or for a while.
Then comes the [giant's belt], boosting up your hp pool. Turn it into Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet depending on your gold and the farming opportunities. Build the other item right after. Finish your build with a Guardian Angel.
From now, use your spare gold on elixirs.
Wriggle's Lantern for sustain purposes, as explained above.
Trinity Force is a very good item since the damage proc works with Bladesurge. Offers mobility instead of tankyness. Consider this item instead of frozen mallet if your jungler is already tanky enough.
Randuin's Omen Very tanky item, builds up from an early Heart of Gold. If your team needs you to be more tanky than aggressive, go for it. The active slow will prevent anyone from fleeing.
Force of Nature Yeah so they got a solotop Ryze and a mid Cassiopeia ? Then this is the way to go.
Madred's Bloodrazor If the enemy team starts stacking health, this will definitely solve the problem. Some kind of an improved wriggle's. Only get this later on though as it's really expensive.
Thornmail May replace / complete atma's if their ad champions start tearing you down. This is cheap and super effective ; the damage returned compensates for the loss of an offensive item.
Infinity Edge / Phantom Dancer If you can afford to loose some tankyness, then there's no reason to avoid them. Most of the time though, you'll have something more important to purchase.
Early game :
Focus on last-hitting as much as possible. Do not push your lane too much, don't be afraid of getting pushed under your tower either, since Bladesurge will allow you to get most of the last-hist.
If your opponent leaves the lane, call mia, and gauge how much time you have before he comes back.
This is more of a guideline than an absolute rule, other factors such as your ability to duel their jungler have to be taken into account. Also note that taking down the tower in 10 min is not always the best thing to do.
Mid game :
Keep farming. Avoid wasting time in minor skirmishes ; you need those items to perform later one. However, if a fight breaks out and chances are you'll be there on time to actually turn its tide, then assist your team asap.
Late game :
By now, you should have your Frozen Mallet and hopefully your Warmog's Armor almost up. It's time for you to stick to your team ; even lead it if necessary. You are one of the toughest champions of your team, you NEED to stay first in line.
Always try to pick out low-health targets first. Your damage output is scary to any AD / AP carry, and your tankyness makes dueling you impossible. Though, if there's a better initiator on your team (amumu, malphite, ...) you should let them dive in first, cause hey, you're not invincible, and if you get caught out of position / draw the focus too early, chances you'll die for nothing.
That's all for now, I'll try to upload a few replays later on. I hope you enjoyed this guide, which is the first I ever published. PM me if you have any content you would like to see in this guide (replays, scoreboards using this guide / build, any kind of relevant material).
Once again, feel free to point out any flaw / mistake, feedback is greatly appreciated !